Friday, May 07, 2010

fresblogging and journos

it's been an interesting debate/discussion over the last five or whatever years as blogs began and have become somewhat part of the journalistic community. and, the established media has begun to blog, some of them very well. others, not so well.

locally, the bee does a pretty decent job of blogging with the beehive, the sportsbuzz is hit or miss, and i'll be honest, i don't read the opinion blog. cbs47 also does some blogging, and in my opinion, is on the other end of the scale. they all don't blog frequently and so really, mike scott is sort of what i consider the channel 47 blog.

here's where i get to it: when journalists blog, are they creating news, and is that good? i'm not saying that journalists shouldn't blog, but it is clear that they differentiate between their blogs for their journalism. mike oz has even told me that, although not exactly in those words. if i can remember it correctly, mike told me a while back that his blogging tends to be more his personal feelings, thoughts, things that took his interest, whereas his articles & columns were more straight journalism. the paper is held to a much higher standard, i think, than the blog. that's not to say that mike doesn't do his homework on his blogging because he clearly does.

so we turn to mike scott's blog. today in a post over at fresno famous i called mike scott's blog visual vomit and blogging diarrhea. scott references his blog on air frequently, and today during the noon news he brought up the "controversy" (his word) over on his blog between roller derby and the city. it seems that scott is using the blog to leak information, and the info is somewhat speculative and questionable. is it even a real story? if it is, why not do the leg work and present it as such?

am i out there on this, or scott crossing the line, losing journalistic integrity, or something completely different?


Adam said...

Reminds me of the Fresno Bee writing a story based on a comment from one of their online stories that they referenced.

To me, it reeks of things like Fox News' agenda with the Tea Party and the favorable press they give it. Granted, giving favorable press to something else versus navel-gazing and speculation are two different things.

And I think that Mike Oz tends to blog about things after he's written the story instead of blogging about it beforehand and then writing a journalistic story after that.

I dunno. This is interesting. I'll have to think about it further.

Famous said...

There are probably whole academic courses specific to journalistic blogging (ie, blogging done by journalists), and I could probably spend 1,000 words on this topic.

But to answer the question about Mike Scott's post:

It seems like some journalists want to use their blogs as sounding boards -- throw something out to the blogosphere and see if it sticks. If it has traction, then run with it. Which in some ways makes sense. It's an easy way to guarantee a story.

Note: This is different than posing a question and looking for an engaged community response.

But a good journalist understands what "news" is and should be able to spot a story and understand why it's important and how it relates back to the readers (and then present that story, in whatever media). That's not to say blogs can't be a useful tool in finding those stories, just that it shouldn't be the sole reason for them (ie, 'this is a story because people are talking about it on our blogs).

I think there is a story here (whether it's one I personally would chose to investigate and cover in depth is another thing.)

Obviously Mike thinks there is a story, too (at least enough to mention on air). Throwing up partial information, calling it a "controversy" in hopes people will clamor to the blogs is just pandering.

So ... we should expect an in-depth follow up of some sort.

edluv said...

this morning i was thinking about this thread in relation to my undercurrent post. i don't have any facts, just a brief discussion i had with friends (some former uc writers, one current contributor/founder) and we were talking at the rumor level. now, if it turns out i'm wrong, not a problem for me. but, i'm not fact checking, i'm not doing leg work on the story. just heard it and blogged it.

Famous said...

You are also NOT a professional journalist. Though a professional journalist should be able to use the info you provided (Undercurrent might be through), notice that it is a story (one of the few independent papers in the city is no more), investigate the facts (whatever they may be) and report (as a story/blog post/whatever).

edluv said...

true, i'm not a pro journo. although, if i considered my blog to be serious journalism, pro/amateur status doesn't matter. but, my blog is mostly stuff i enjoy, and occasionally thoughtful dialog.